INDIANAPOLIS – Speaking to a group of legislators from around the country, former Vice President Mike Pence reiterated the stance that he didn’t have the power to change the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Pence, who’s seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, delivered keynote remarks at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit in Indianapolis.
Pence faced intense pressure by former President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He addressed the latest indictment aimed at the former president.
“No one is above the law. The president and all those implicated are entitled to the presumption of innocence that every American enjoys,” Pence said.
“Despite what the former president and his allies have said now for more than two and a half years, and continue to insist at this very hour, the Georgia election was not stolen, and I had no right to overturn the election on Jan. 6,” he said.
“It’s a hard truth. My friend, [Georgia] Gov. Brian Kemp, said it well. He said, ‘for nearly three years, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward and provide evidence regarding the Georgia elections.’”
Pence added that states conduct and manage elections for national offices. States, he pointed out, certify the results. In his role as president of the Senate, Pence said his job, as determined by the constitution, was to open and count the votes.
“I’ll always believe, by God’s grace, I did my duty that day to see to the peaceful transfer of power under the Constitution of the United States and the laws of this country,” Pence said.
He described as “un-American” the notion that one person could chose which votes counted and which ones didn’t.
During his remarks, Pence also spoke about “big government” and vowed that, if elected president, he would return power to the states.
The former vice president and Indiana governor outlined a five-point plan to empower states, which he referred to as “equal partners” with the federal government.
His key points:
- Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and return billions of dollars to the states for “educational choice and reform”
- On housing, highways and welfare, the federal government will return funding to states via block grants with “no strings attached”
- Repeal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mandates and allow states to manage health care assistance programs to reduce the cost of health insurance
- Return some federal lands to states for “development, innovation and reform”
- Prohibit any unfunded federal mandates that would put the financial burden on states
Pence appeared earlier this month at the Indiana State Fair to discuss his economic plan. He also addressed Trump’s federal indictment related to the Jan. 6 case.
He’s scheduled to appear next week at the Republican presidential debate with several other presidential hopefuls in Milwaukee. Trump has not indicated whether he’ll participate.
Pence said he hoped Trump participated in the debate, adding that he and the former president had debated a “thousand times” in the past, just “not with the cameras on.”